A new poll in the Boston mayoral race gives City Councilor Michelle Wu a strong lead and suggests the number of undecided voters and a tight cluster of potential second-place candidates could translate to many possible outcomes for the Sept. 14 preliminary election.
In the MassINC Polling Group survey, which was based on responses from 453 Boston residents who voted in 2020, 30% said they supported or leaned toward Wu, with 15% backing the next-closest contender, Mayor Kim Janey.
Thirteen percent of the respondents supported or leaned toward Councilor Annissa Essaibi George, 11% were for Councilor Andrea Campbell, and 4% picked John Barros, with 19% saying they did not know or were undecided.
Presenting the results during a Zoom event with Policy for Progress, MassINC Polling Group President Steve Koczela said Janey and Essaibi George stand to lose or gain the most based on who turns out for the Sept. 14 election that will winnow the field to two candidates.
"What we often joke about on Twitter, that it all comes down to turnout, is actually true here," Koczela said. "It actually does depend [on] not just how many voters turnout, but also who specifically turns out."
Among voters who recently cast ballots in municipal elections, Essaibi George rises to second, with 16%, and Janey drops to third with 12%, slightly ahead of Campbell's 11%, according to the presentation.
Kozcela said the candidates also draw their support from different demographic groups -- for instance, Janey had the most support among Black voters of any candidate (23%), while white voters favored Wu (31%) and then Essaibi George (19%).